Music theory > Duration of sounds > Time signature > Simple and compound meter

# Simple and compound meter

## Definitions of simple and compound meters

Simple meter (or simple time) id a meter where each beat in a measure can be subdivided by two.

Compound meter (or compound time) is a meter where each beat in a measure can be subdivided by three.

### Meters classifications

Meters can be classified into simple meters and compound meters, and as duple, triple, and quadruple meters.

Duple meter: the measure (bar ) is divisible by two beats.
Triple meter: the measure (bar) is divisible by three beats.
Quadruple meter: the measure (bar) is divisible by four beats.

So for example:

A simple duple meter refers to a measure that contains 2 beats and each beat can be subdivided by 2.
A compound quadruple meter refers to a measure that contains 4 beats and each beat can be subdivided by 3.

### Example of simple meter

In this example, beats are divided by two (2): One beat can contain 2

### Example of compound meter

In this example, beats are divided by three (3): One beat can contain 3

## Time signature of simple meters

Here are time signatures of simple meters:

 Value of 1 beat 1 beat per measure 1/1 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/16 1/32 1/64 simple duple 2/1 2/2 2/4 2/8 2/16 2/32 2/64 simple triple 3/1 3/2 3/4 3/8 3/16 3/32 3/64 simple quadruple 4/1 4/2 4/4 4/8 4/16 4/32 4/64 simple quintuple 5/1 5/2 5/4 5/8 5/16 5/32 5/64 and so on... and so on...

Here are most common time signatures of simple meters:

 Value of 1 beat 1 beat per measure simple duple 2/2 2/4 2/8 simple triple 3/2 3/4 3/8 simple quadruple 4/2 4/4 4/8 simple quintuple 5/4

## Time signature of compound meters

Here are time signatures of compound meters:

 Value of 1 beat 1 beat per measure 3/2 3/4 3/8 3/16 3/32 3/64 3/128 compound duple 6/2 6/4 6/8 6/16 6/32 6/64 6/128 compound triple 9/2 9/4 9/8 9/16 9/32 9/64 9/128 compound quadruple 12/2 12/4 12/8 12/16 12/32 12/64 12/128 compound quintuple 15/2 15/4 15/8 15/16 15/32 15/64 15/128 and so on... and so on...

Here are most common time signatures of compound meters:

 Value of 1 beat 1 beat per measure 3/8 compound duple 6/8 compound triple 9/8 compound quadruple 12/8 compound quintuple 15/8

All music practice games: Let's play to our free games

### Write a comment

Your comment comment will be manually validate.

Do not fill if you are human (anti spam)